The New England Patriots Rundown returns with links related to everyone’s favorite third-string quarterback, Tim Tebow, and the comments that the Houston Texans GM made about Matt Schaub in big games (as well as other Texans news). Patriots fans recall Schaub’s less-than-stellar performances against the Pats in big games, so I have a feeling this will interest some of you guys.
1. Mike Dussault always has excellent analysis on the Bleacher Report, and he wrote a piece on Tim Tebow yesterday that is unlike most of what you read when you google “Tim Tebow”. He took a look at the X’s and O’s of making Tebow a legitimate part of the New England Patriots offense, which is a question that has perplexed my mind. Do you use him as an H-back? Do you keep him as a QB? Do you use him around the formation? Do you let him sit as an inactive and try and develop him that way? My belief is that the last question’s answer is going to be “yes” at the beginning, but I wonder if the Pats will change that. What is entrenched in my mind is the philosophy that you don’t take snaps away from Tom Brady.
Dussault writes that Tebow’s lack of pass-catching skills doesn’t even make him ideal as an H-back, and his best fit is as a short-yardage back where his strength and rushing ability can be showcased. He also adds that Tebow’s ability to throw in those situations and surprise the defense is of value, and I agree with his propositions. Click the link above and read what Dussault has to say, because it is a fantastic piece.
2. NESN says the New England Patriots have the ninth-best running backs in the NFL, while the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans are first and second respectively. If LeGarrette Blount can get his head on straight and run like he did as a rookie, then this running back corps will be in the top five. It’s easy to forget that the Patriots have two former 1,000-yard rushers on their roster, as well as an explosive back in Shane Vereen (well, nobody forgets about him).
3. The NFL Network’s Gregg Rosenthal wrote about what he learned from Houston Texans GM Rick Smith, and the most interesting thing was the tidbit on Matt Schaub, who is still, in my mind, one of the best ten quarterbacks in the league (though, about tenth). Smith stated that the Texans will ask for more from Schaub, and Smith highlighted the need for Schaub to improve in the clutch.
“He understands that. He knows that. And he does have to play better in those situations for us to take our team to the next level,” Smith said.
Schaub and other quarterbacks are rated (most of the time unfairly and with only a few plays outweighing the rest) by what they do in the “clutch”, and I’ve seen several Patriots fans knock him as an overrated or bad quarterback (neither of which are true) for his poor performances against the Pats in big games and big moments. He certainly did flop and will have to improve on that for the Texans to go further into the playoffs, and the most important thing is that he finally has legitimate help. Schaub finally has a legit No. 2 receiver, as even a rookie version of DeAndre Hopkins is significantly superior to Kevin Walter, whose biggest claim to fame was blocking.
4. More on the Texans from Rick Smith. The Texans expect Ed Reed to be ready for Week 1, and Smith displayed optimism regarding Reed’s status, even as Reed has been unsurprisingly noncomittable. As for that “Homecoming” game that Patriots fans love to poke fun at, Smith says it was a coincidence that it was scheduled against the Pats. Guys, let’s lay off of the Texans on this one, because this team has done this every year. Honestly, the only thing that is worth knocking about this is the cheesy jackets, but, well, whatever floats their boat, right?
5. Football is so close that I can already taste an 11th playoff appearance in the Belichick-era. How close? Well, ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss tells us that the New England Patriots head coaches are back to work after arriving at Gillette yesterday. Those rookies? Well, Aaron Dobson and the intriguing bunch report in three days on 21st, followed by the rest of the bunch in exactly one week. Friday the 26th is the Patriots first public practice of training camp, and I couldn’t be more pumped.